Dorothy Allison (psychic)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dorothy Allison (December 29, 1924 – December 1, 1999) was a self-proclaimed psychic detective from New Jersey.[1]


She was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey.[2]

Allison was credited by some sources with assisting a number of police investigations over the years, including the 1967–1968 search for a missing boy (later found drowned) in Nutley, New Jersey, the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst, and the 1976 Son of Sam murders. In October 1980, she went to Atlanta to assist police investigating the then-ongoing series of murdered children, but police said she ultimately did no more than give them 42 possible names for the murderer, none of which proved helpful.[3]

Many others considered her a fraud. Two police detectives in Paterson, New Jersey, accused her of offering them money to say that she had been helpful in the 1979 search for a missing boy, later found murdered (Allison denied the charge).[3][4] She was a frequent target of scientific skeptic James Randi,[4] who cited her failure in the Atlanta case when naming her for one of his earliest "Uri Awards" (later called the Pigasus Awards) in April 1981.[5]

Allison published a book about her activities, called A Psychic Story, in 1980.[6][7] In May 1988, she was featured on the television series Unsolved Mysteries.[8]

A resident of Nutley, she died of heart failure on December 1, 1999, at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, New Jersey.[2]


  1. ^ Katherine Ramsland. "Psychic Detectives". TruTV. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  2. ^ a b Martin, Douglas. "Dorothy Allison, 74, 'Psychic Detective' Consulted by Police", The New York Times, December 20, 1999. Accessed October 28, 2013. "Dorothy Allison, a self-proclaimed psychic with a knack for turning up at the scenes of notorious crimes, died on Dec. 1 at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, N.J. She was 74 and lived in Nutley, N.J."
  3. ^ a b Oliver, Myrna (December 7, 1999). "Dorothy Allison; Volunteered to Aid Police as 'Psychic'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
  4. ^ a b Hanson, Tim (June 21, 1982). "Challenging psychics". Spokane Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
  5. ^ Neuhaus, Cable (April 20, 1981). "James Randi Has a Word for Uri, Tamara, Jeane and the Psychic Crowd: Frauds". People. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
  6. ^ Christy, Marian (December 3, 1980). "Psychic Allison reveals her world". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
  7. ^ Headley, Bernard D. (2000). The Atlanta Youth Murders and the Politics of Race. Southern Illinois University Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-0809323197. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  8. ^ Zuckerman, Faye (September 14, 1988). "Robert Stack's 'Unsolved Mysteries' Returns". The Gainesville Sun. Retrieved 2013-05-13.